Are you looking forward to starting a garden this year? Organic gardening at home is not only healthy for you and your family when it comes to eating whole foods, but it can also be a fun hobby which can help you reduce stress.
Before you dive into reading about organic gardening information, let’s first answer the question, what is organic gardening?
Please pin this image to share with others
What Is Organic Gardening?
Organic gardening at home is the healthiest way to grow flowers, fruits, and vegetables. When you consume your homegrown fruits and vegetables, you ingest whole foods clear of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers.
Additionally, organic gardening is environmentally sound and keeps those toxins out of the soil and water supply.
Now that you know what organic gardening is, here are a few organic gardening tips to get you started on your own garden.
Organic Garden Information and Tips
1. Plan Out Your Garden
Getting ready to plant a garden takes some preparation.
For example, if you’re wanting to plant a vegetable garden, you should draw out a layout of your garden. List all of the vegetables you would like to grow. Once you have your list of plants, draw out a layout of where you would like each vegetable to be planted. Each specific plant will need to be planted a certain distance from the other plants. There are also some plants which complement other plants and should be planted near each other.
The Farmer’s Almanac provides an online garden planner which can help you design your garden.
In addition to taking the time to lay out your garden, you also need to make sure you have all of your gardening supplies. Having all of your supplies such as tools, seeds, soil, and fertilizer ahead of time will save you time in the long run.
2. Rotate Your Garden
Different vegetables and fruits absorb different nutrients from the soil.
For example, if you plant tomatoes in the same spot every year, eventually they’ll deplete the soil of the nutrients they need.
However, if you rotate your garden, planting flowers where you normally plant vegetables and vegetables where you normally plant flowers, or simply rotating where you plant your vegetables then you’ll have healthier and tastier produce.
Additionally, rotation also helps prevent attack by disease and pests.
3. Plant Vegetables in a Rich Soil
Be sure to give your soil what it needs each year to be rich and healthy.
Compost is a wonderfully sustainable and nutrient-rich way of providing everything your plants need to grow and survive.
Be sure not to do things which can damage the soil such as excessive rototilling or digging when the soil is too wet or dry.
4. Use Organic Seeds
If you’re sowing your own seeds, it’s important that you choose seeds from organic fruits and vegetables. If you’re buying plants to start with, you will want to make sure they are organic.
Conventional seeds are usually treated with chemicals before they are packaged. These chemicals are supposed to help overcome issues with bacteria and fungus that can affect germination.
There are also GMO seeds which are Roundup ready to withstand glyphosate. These seeds have foreign genetic material artificially inserted into their DNA.
“Certified Organic seed is produced by a certified organic grower, so it has not been exposed to any chemicals throughout the growth in the field, the harvesting of the seed, and processing” making this the best option.
5. Sowing Seeds
If you’re sowing seeds, sow several times more than you think you’ll need.
For example, if you’re only going to plant one tomato plant in your garden, sow 3 or 4 seeds. Seeds don’t always grow well and you can then choose the strongest looking to plant in your garden.
6. Label and Understand Your Plants
If you buy starter plants, they usually come with a tag that’s been placed in their pot.
Use that tag, or make your own to label your plant once it has been planted.
You will be thankful for the plant label once it’s mid-season. It can be easy to forget which plant is what.
In addition to knowing what kind of plant it is, it is also important to read the information on the back of the seed packet or tag in the starter plant. This information will tell you how much sun and water the plant will need.
7. Water Your Plants
Depending on how large your garden is, it could take a considerable amount of water to keep it flourishing. In order to save on water, consider using a water conservation technique.
The EPA gives suggestions for collecting water. One suggestion is rainwater harvesting. Harvesting rainwater can be as simple as putting rain barrels around your yard to collect water.
Depending on how and where you collect your water from will determine where the water can be used. If you’re watering an edible garden, be sure to only use water from rain barrels if you collect water.
If you collect water that has traveled over rooftops, or through gutters, it can pick up pollutants such as chemicals and bacteria which shouldn’t be used as water for edible plants. That water can be used in a flower garden.
Please pin this image to share with others
8. Fertilize Your Plants
If your plants need some help growing, or if they are wilting or becoming yellow, you might need to add some fertilizer.
Well-fed plants are more productive and healthier.
You can purchase natural fertilizers or you can DIY. For example, you can naturally fertilize your broccoli and cabbage plants with an epsom salt water mixture.
It’s best to apply organic fertilizers in the fall because organic fertilizers are released slowly to plants. By applying it in the fall, the nutrients will be available when you’re ready to plant in the spring. Organic fertilizers improve soil structure and stimulate beneficial soil microorganisms.
9. Use Friendly Insects as Natural Pesticides
Instead of using harmful chemicals on your garden, you might want to try using beneficial insects for garden pest control instead.
Ladybugs are a great tool to eliminate aphids from your garden. You can buy bags of them at your local nursery or even order them online.
Place pest predators in your garden and prevent infestation.
10. Use Natural Pesticides to Prevent Pests and Weeds
Using chemicals to prevent pests and weeds in your garden is not only harmful to the environment, but they are also harmful to you.
It’s best to use a natural option instead of harmful chemicals to prevent pests and weeds.
There are many different options you can try to maintain your garden. Here are suggestions to make 9 easy natural pesticides for your garden.
11. Use Specific Plants to Attract or Repel Insects
There are many plants, such as herbs and flowers, you can strategically add to your garden to repel unwanted insects.
For example, basil repels flies and mosquitoes, while sage repels cabbage moths and black flea beetles.
As for flowers, marigolds repel aphids and mosquitos which petunias repel asparagus beetles and squash bugs.
If you want to attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs, try planting garlic or dill. The benefit with planting these herbs is they also repel some unwanted insects.
12. Prevent Fungus and Disease
The biggest killer of most vegetable gardens is fungus and mold.
Be sure to keep your plants pruned and keep the soil damp but not soaked. Additionally, make sure there isn’t too much of an accumulation of mulch around the plants which can retain water and foster mold growth.
Enjoy your time in the garden! Organic gardening at home is a fun and easy way to bring fresh produce into your home to keep you and your family healthy.